The Hens Roost, a local grassroots business and restaurant specializing in diner-style vegan food in downtown Bakersfield, hosted Bakersfield’s first ever Vegan Fest on Mall View road on April 20.
A variety of local eateries attended the event, included; Vida Vegan, We be Grubbin, Bakersfield Pizza Co, Paleta Co, Flame and Flour, Better Bowls, the Hens Roost, and PB jacks.
The event also sold out several vendors early into the event and had live music performances by the Akustiks.
Vegans weren’t the only ones that showed up to the event.
Foothill High School students, Britney Bustamante, 17, and Daniela Gutierrez,16, both vegetarians share that they were really excited to come to the event.
Bustamante wanted to see what the experience would be like, meeting new people, and see everything, before thinking about the idea to become full vegan.
“Surely but slowly we will be vegan,” Bustamante said.
Gutierrez thought the idea of Bakersfield being introduced with a vegan festival was a good idea and that “maybe would open up some minds [to become vegan.]”
Bakersfield Californian reporter and Bakersfield College alumni, Kylly Ardis has been a Vegetarian for 15 years now but always finds a choice to eat anything vegan as much as possible.
Although the event was busier than she expected, vendors sold out when she got there and had some trouble finding parking, Ardis said, “it was definitely worth the fight.”
Letisia and Melissa Gonzalez, sisters from central Bakersfield, shop at the farmers market every week so coming to this event was a “win-win” for them, because now they could “experiment the vegan side of it.”
Melissa shared that it was good to see the Vegan Fest on the east side of town.
“I know a lot of this kind of events happen in the other side of town so, seeing this [event] deploying on the east side and seeing all these people coming out to support this event is really nice, ” Melissa said
BC student, Emma Jordan-Scott was also glad the event was on the east side of Bakersfield and would come to this event again if the Hens Roost host another one.
“I stan veganism. I am not a vegan but I’m a vegan sympathizer.”
According to the Vegans Society, a registered charity organization, the definition of Veganism “is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
After this event, the Hens Roost announced a monthly Q&A for starting their own small business to sell goods.